Not to get too religious on you... So I'm a christian, if you haven't figured that out yet. However, I am not as pushy as I used to be, straight out of Bible College. "Sinners beware!" Oh yes, I was all that! .......... Spirituality, I feel, is a vital part of #wellness and #art. When I create my #pastel #portraits I often go to a spiritual place, and connect on a deep level with my higher power. I share my #art through workshops, helping to bring Healing and support to others and myself. I used to be angry with God, wanting answers to my questions that never seemed to come. Why had I suffered so much fighting addiction, mental illness, cancer and trauma in my family's lives and mine? Why did I have to suffer all these things and still be alive, mental illness controlled, addiction and cancer in remission, left alone and healthy, but full of meaningless disparity? One day at church, as I picked through the library, I came across a book I had Never seen before. It was a book of correspondence between John Newton the priest and his paritioners. John Newton was an English captain of slave ships. He became ordained as an evangelical Anglican cleric for two decades, and also wrote hymns, known for "Amazing Grace" and "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken". Newton worked on slave ships in the slave trade for several years. After experiencing a Christian conversion Newton eventually renounced his trade and became a prominent supporter of abolitionism, living to see Britain's abolition of the African slave trade in 1807. In the middle of this book was the answer I had been looking for all this time. It was a letter from one of his parishioners asking why had God allowed such suffering in the lives of his family? Newton's answer grabbed me by the heart, shook me to my knees, and then gently set me on a sea of tranquility. He said, "Suffering demonstrates to others, and manifests in ourselves, the reality of grace." I read no further, closed it tight, and placed the book back on the shelf, walking away a different man then just before. A man of faith. A man of spiritualality . A man who had finally discovered the meaning of grace.

Published by Patrick Colton